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Portrait of Elizabeth Keckley.

Elizabeth Keckley Speaks: “My Life in Washington”

Celebrate Juneteenth and the life of a White House dressmaker.

Join us at Southwest Library as we celebrate Juneteenth and the life of an important Washington dressmaker.

The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior cover

Nonfiction that Seems Like a Soap Opera

Reality television stars have nothing on these real historical figures

The adage is that truth is stranger than fiction and these books certainly show that to be true. These nonfiction books feature historical figures with personalities that would put reality television stars to shame—and the antics that go with such larger-than-life personalities.  

George Derek Musgrove

Author Talk: George Derek Musgrove

Many books have been written about the politics and history of Washington, D.C. However the city's hometown aspect frequently is overlooked.

Gunning of America

Guns in America

In the context of mass shootings, police violence and the second amendment, Americans continue to disagree about the place that guns should have in our society. Are gun deaths the result of access to firearms or violent tendencies in the individual? What, if any, gun control is reasonable and constitutional? What did the founders intend with the second amendment? How did we become a country that has so many guns? What is the reality beyond all the hyperbole? These books will hopefully inform you about the history of guns in America and our current use of them.

putin country

Understanding Putin's Russia

With the unusual relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on people’s minds, perhaps you have wondered just what it is like to live in Putin’s Russia. Is it terrifying? Is it something Americans should be worried about? Did Putin influence the 2016 election in the US? Why do polls say that Russians like him? Well, here are some books that might help you to figure it all out.  

StrangerintheWoods

Solitude

A Life Apart From The World

Everyone, at some point or another, seeks out some alone time—to get away from the noise, to escape the pressures and stress of everyday life. Solitude has a healing quality that renews, strengthens and fortifies. There are some people that choose a life of solitude for any number of reasons and others that find themselves alone through no choice of their own. The following are some recent and classic accounts of the solitary life.

The Way

Walking The Way

The Allure of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela

For centuries pilgrims have walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela (The Way) in northwestern Spain. The cathedral in Santiago is believed to be the resting place of St. James the Apostle, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. During the Middle Ages making a pilgrimage was a popular form of piety. Pilgrimage to Santiago became one of the three main pilgrimage destinations after Rome and Jerusalem.

The warmth of other suns

Home is Where the Hatred is

Stories of Brutality at the Hands of Your Own Country

We often think of bigotry in terms of individual failings. We shame individuals who perpetuate racism and homophobia as people separate from a well-meaning whole. Instead, we should think of them as members of society that allows such attitudes to continue. These books explore how societies are very much complicit in the veils we claim to reject.

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